An easy and reliable way of turning people into loyal, returning customers who refer you to friends and family is to be an HVAC service technician, or an HVAC service company, people can trust.
But trust has to be earned, and that’s not easy to do, especially in the HVAC repair industry. Most homeowners don’t know the technical ins and outs of their equipment. They just want it fixed fast when their homes are freezing or stuffy and hot.
And, unfortunately, many get taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors.
A number of contractors, however, do establish trustworthy reputations in their service specialties. The tips below will help you do the same for your HVAC business.
5 Trust-Boosting Tips for HVAC Contractors
Before you find out how to build trust, it might help to have a standard definition to work with. Merriam Webster defines trust as the “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.”
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Well, it certainly makes sense why customers would want these qualities in an HVAC service company, doesn’t it?
Trust-Building Tip 1: Honest and Hard Work
When the work your technicians perform is solid, there is no need to misrepresent it. It’s also important to recommend only the repairs that are necessary.
Upselling customers just to boost revenue can lead to short-term gains but losses in the long run. If customers discover they didn’t need additional parts or service, they might go elsewhere next time their equipment requires work.
Don’t overcharge, and explain billing clearly on your HVAC invoice. HVAC service can be pricey, and the last thing you want is to leave customers scratching their heads about what exactly they paid for.
Trust-Building Tip 2: Clear Communication and Transparency
People tend to be more suspicious of what they don’t know. In the absence of a formal HVAC education, most customers don’t understand much about how their HVAC equipment works.
When you’re asking a hefty price to repair a system, take the time to explain the work needed in language they can understand. Breaking down technical terms is an essential skill for HVAC techs and can be helpful when selling service contracts too.
Be transparent about your process. It’s ok to tell customers you’re still troubleshooting a problem and don’t have a diagnosis just yet.
Trust-Building Tip 3: Responsiveness
Why invest in advertising and marketing, only to ignore the resulting leads? What a huge waste of time and money, not to mention lost opportunity.
But this is the case for many HVAC service companies. They’re simply ignoring customers. A big mistake in this digital age.
Performance marketing agency Valve+Meter recently found that only 60 percent of the 466 home service companies they surveyed responded to customers within a five-day time frame. Only 37 percent of the companies even called customers back at all. Over half took more than a day to respond. Seventy-one percent failed to respond within an hour.
Do you think customers enduring freezing temperatures due to broken furnaces would wait around more than a day? Probably not.
Worse, if it’s taking you more than a week to respond to dissatisfied customers, you could not only lose them but also your reputation, thanks to the ease of writing negative online reviews.
Make it a policy to call customers back ASAP.
Trust-Building Tip 4: Reliability and Consistency
Can your customers rely on you to follow through on service agreements, show up when expected to and properly repair what’s broken?
Reliability and consistency are important in the HVAC industry. Customers could get very uncomfortable or even downright sick if their heating and cooling equipment isn’t repaired right way.
Trust-Building Tip 4: Customer Service
Take the time to go above and beyond with your customer service. Asking questions not only about their equipment problems but also how they’re doing can show customers that your company really cares. Allowing customers to explain the issue and their frustrations can make them feel heard and improve their overall experience with your company.
Don’t be just another company who answers the phone. Strive to make connections with customers and build lasting relationships.
And once you’ve earned customers’ loyalty, keep it by consistently treating repeat customers well. Offer them the same great deals and promotions you’re giving new customers to show how much you value their business.
Trust-Building Tip 5: Online Reputation Management
These days, trust can start with first impressions, often via online customer reviews. While customers may not always be right, they are still customers and more empowered than ever.
It’s important to make time to monitor your online reviews for your HVAC business. Set up Google Alerts for your company’s name or invest in reputation monitoring tools. Periodically search for your company in the major search engines. Claim your company on the major review websites like Yelp!
Then make sure to respond to negative and positive reviews in a timely manner. For bad reviews, avoid getting emotional, defensive or blaming the customers. Stick to the facts and stay objective. Ask the negative review writer if they’d be willing to talk to you over the phone or in person about the problem and see if there’s a chance that it could be fixed.
And, of course, thank customers for taking the time to write good things about your company.
A Trustworthy Reputation: The Best Advertising
You can spend a lot of money “selling” customers on how great your business is, but some of the best advertising often comes from a trustworthy reputation. Do a good job, be honest and treat customers with respect, and soon you could be providing HVAC services to their entire family.
Learn more about other factors that play a role in the success of an HVAC business.